Unimpressed with the standard of accommodation in Rio de Janeiro, the American owners of Casa Cool Beans opened their funky Santa Teresa guesthouse with the aim of raising the bar for lodgings in the city. With more staff members than there are rooms, the commitment to customer service is palpable, and the owners Lance and David themselves are usually on hand to offer guests a warm welcome and a wealth of insider information about getting to know the city.Casa Cool Beans is set in leafy gardens — Photo courtesy of Casa Cool Beans
The decor is funkily fabulous, with outside walls decorated by some of Santa Teresa´s famous street artists, and while the location is a bit of a trek from the beach, there´s a tree-filled sundeck complete with pool. Each of the rooms is individually designed and decorated with works from Santa Teresa artists, and the place is always immaculately clean, with attention paid to the tiniest of details.
Casa Cool Beans has received rave reviews from travelers, and advance booking is always wise. Despite its stellar reputation, however, the guesthouse would be surprisingly easy to overlook if you didn't know it was there. Hidden away on a residential street, it's virtually invisible yet within easy walking distance of the neighborhood's many excellent independent bars, restaurants, and arts and crafts stores.